Associate Life

Aaron Thompson

Acting

October 9, 2012 5:18 PM | Permalink | Print

For some reason, acting has come up a lot in my practice. This summer, I ran into a number of former actors who are now attorneys. All of these individuals had for one reason or another transitioned into being an attorney, yet retained some connection to the field.

In high school, I participated in theater. This involved a bit of acting, and a lot of stage production. I thought I would go into some sort of production business in college. Eventually, I discovered other paths. But recently, the overlap has become much more apparent.

At trial, the entire pre-trial and evening prep is a type of production. The attorney team prepares for years, weeks, then days, to put together the tiny sliver of the giant case that the jury sees. The jury doesn’t see the preproduction, nor do they get to see backstage. Instead, all of the hard work in those past years, must get boiled down into a carefully choreographed production for the jury. Both parties negotiate with each other and the judge to determine the script. Then the attorneys work with the witnesses to develop the broad contours of an improvisational dialogue. All of this effort is for the purpose of telling the story to the jury.